How Not to Drive a Tank: Minsk Edition

This video recently appeared on youtube showing what appears to be a T-72 going down Independence Avenue in Minsk, Belarus and doing an unintended drift into a tree and light pole.  Several photos of the incident have also appeared online, including a rather amusing one of a police officer issuing a traffic citation to the tank crew.



Photo source

Book Review: Forgotten Archives 2: The Lost Signal Corps Photos

Over the past two decades, the Panzerwrecks series of books has become known for quality books showcasing photos of WWII armor.  Founded by Lee Archer and Bill Auerbach, Panzerwrecks has became both a book series and a publishing house focusing on  armored warfare in WWII.  Unfortunately, co-founder BIll Auerbach passed away in 2015, but Panzerwrecks has soldiered on, both with the original Panzerwrecks series andForgotten-Archives-2-Jacket-600px with titles by a new generation of authors.  One such writer/researcher is Darren Neely.  Last year Panzerwrecks released his book Forgotten Archives 1: The Lost Signal Corps Photos.  This month saw the release of the follow-up book, Forgotten Archives 2: The Lost Signal Corps Photos in the UK with release in the US coming this July.

We had a chance to examine a copy of this latest book and it is a very handsome volume indeed.  This is a large hardcover volume of 240 pages.  Primarily a photo book, the pages are printed on high quality glossy paper and the photo quality is excellent.  The black and white photos, of which there are 252, are generally printed one to a page making it very easy to see the details contained in the images.  There are also a small number of nicely done color illustrations by artist Felipe Rodna.

The subject matter of the book is, of course, WWII armor, specifically US and German armor in the ETO 1944-45.  This ground has been covered extensively over the years by numerous authors and publishers.  Probably everyone with an interest in WWII armor has had the experience of getting a new book on WWII tanks and upon cracking it open, finding the same familiar photos that get recycled year after year.  Fear not, this is not the case with Forgotten Archives 2.  What makes this new book unique is that the author was able to work with the families of eight former US Army Signal Corps photographers, going through the photo collections that these men brought back from the war.  Each photo is accompanied by the original caption written by the wartime photographer as well as a caption by the author, noting any errors or discrepancies in the original captions.  The book is arraigned by photographer, each chapter dedicated to a particular Signal Corps soldiers’ collection.  In organizing the book this way, each chapter tells the story of that particular photographer, marking the places they passed through and the things they saw and experienced.  Being presented in this way, the book becomes a tribute not just to the fighting men captured in the images, but also to the men who risked their lives behind the camera.

For those looking for original, never before seen photos of US and German armor in the ETO, we highly recommend this book.  Both the content and the presentation are top notch and should prove a valuable reference for both tank historians and model builders.  The book is currently available at the Panzerwrecks website.

pages samples and images below:

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The Matilda Diaries Part 13

Episode 13 of the Matilda Diaries, documenting the restoration of the Matilda tank at the Tank Museum at Bovington.

British tank crewman killed, three injured in live fire exercise accident

According to the BBC, a British tank crewman was killed and three others injured in an accident at the Castlemartin Range on Wednesday.

_96501485_castlemartinsearchThe Royal Tank Regiment soldier died on Thursday after being injured at Castlemartin Range on Wednesday.

BBC Wales understands that the incident involved ammunition.
Minister for People and Veterans, Tobias Ellwood, said the soldier died with his family “by his bedside”.

BBC Wales understands the soldier died at Morriston Hospital.
Three seriously injured soldiers have been taken to hospitals in Swansea, Cardiff and Birmingham.

One injured soldier is in Morriston Hospital, Swansea, another at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, and the third was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, which has a dedicated wing for treating injured service personnel.

The MoD, Dyfed-Powys Police and the Health and Safety Executive are investigating the incident.

Mr Ellwood said: “It is with deep sadness that I can confirm the death of a soldier from the Royal Tank Regiment who died as a result of injuries sustained in an incident at Castlemartin Range.

“His next of kin were by his bedside and we will be respecting their privacy before further details are released.

“Three other soldiers have also been wounded and our thoughts remain with the friends and families of all those involved.

“The safety of our personnel is our absolute priority and a full investigation is under way to understand the details of this tragic incident.”

AFV News from Around the Web

Another installment of AFV news from around the web. Click in the headline to go to the full article.


Jane’s 360 – BAE Systems takes aim at Czech Army requirement with CV90

p1703957BAE Systems Hägglunds displayed two examples of the CV90 (Combat Vehicle 90) infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) – with one of these being an unmanned turret-equipped model shown for the first time in public – at IDET 2017 in Brno, Czech Republic.  The company has integrated Kongsberg’s MCT-30, with this being the first unmanned turret to be fitted by BAE Systems Hägglunds to a CV90 hull. To accommodate the internal crew and stowage arrangements dictated by an unmanned turret option, the base CV90 all-welded steel hull is raised slightly, with periscopes fitted to provide enhanced situational awareness for the gunner and commander. It is understood that other unmanned turrets can be integrated if required.


Business Insider – The US is looking at a major tank upgrade, but a weapon to counter it is already out there

screen shot 2016-09-08 at 51722 pmThe US Army is considering various systems to better shield tanks and armored vehicles from RPGs, antitank missiles, and other enemy fire.  But the latest version of the RPG, a staple in the arsenals of Russia and other forces, may already be a step ahead of the active-protection systems the US may soon adopt.  The Pentagon has purchased active-protection systems to test out on Abrams tanks and Bradley and Stryker armored vehicles, and may even mount them on lighter vehicles, like the successor to the Humvee, according to a report from Scout Warrior.


UPI – China deploys new tank in Tibet, near India border

China-deploys-new-tank-in-Tibet-near-India-borderJune 12 (UPI) — China deployed its latest military tank, the Xinqingtan, in an area of Tibet near the Indian border.  Chinese news site Guancha reported Monday Beijing is increasing military buildup in Tibet in a show of force designed to deter the Indian military.  An integrated brigade of the People’s Liberation Army in Tibet deployed an unidentified number of the new tanks, according Chinese state-owned television network CCTV.  Guancha stated the Xinqingtan’s technology and firepower is “far more advanced” than the Russia-made T-90S tanks deployed by India.


Jane’s 360 – Argentine Army announces armour upgrade programmes

p1484855The Argentine Army plans to overhaul, modernise, and expand its armoured and transport vehicle fleets, according to Brigadier General Federico Sidders, chief of the service’s Directorate of Plans, Programmes, and Budget.    The plans are part of a wider effort that includes buying a new assault rifle, antitank and air defence weapons, and other equipment, Brig Gen Sidders said earlier this month.  He said overhaul and upgrade programmes are being established for 400 TAM medium tanks and derivatives – including VCTP infantry combat vehicles and VCA 155 mm self-propelled guns – as well as 400 M113 armoured personnel carriers and derivatives.


Daily Pakistan – Video allegedly shows Iranian missile tanks rolling towards Pakistani border

On Saturday, a video emerged that appears to show Iranian tanks and missile carriers being moved to the country’s eastern borders including the one with Pakistan, sparking fears of skirmishes.  The footage – thought to be filmed this week – was shared by Peykeiran with the caption: “Iran’s military movements, displacement of dozens of tanks, armoured personnel carriers, missiles and equipment to the Mirjaveh and eastern borders of Iran.”


Popular Mechanics – These ISIS-Fighting Philippine Tanks Are Clad in DIY Wooden “Armor”

landscape-1496863183-pinoyengineering1New pictures from the fighting between Philippine government forces and guerrillas aligned with the Islamic State show armored vehicles with ad hoc wood armor. The images of the Philippine Army Cadillac Gage V-150 armored car, circulated on Twitter, show it covered with discarded ammunition crates and salvaged wood. The wooden armor is supposed to protect it from man-portable anti-tank weapons— another image showed a RPG-2 rocket-propelled anti-tank grenade launcher captured from ISIS troops.

Two new posts from “Below the Turret Ring” blog

Below the Turret Ring has made a couple of new posts.  As always, their posts provide a fairly lengthy description of some of the latest developments in AFV technology.  These two new posts look at the Austrian Pandur wheeled AFV and the Israeli “Carmel” next generation combat vehicle.  We have included an excerpt from the beginning of each post below.  Click on the headline to go to the Below the Turret Ring site and read the full article.


IDF Carmel details emerge

תמונה1A number of 3D graphics showing the Carmel next generation combat vehicle of the Israeli Defence Force, which sometimes is also called an advanced technology demonstrator, have been posted on the internet. The images come from a presentation held by the retired Brigadier General Didi Ben-Yoash, who formerly was the Chief Armored Corps Officer of the Israeli Defence Force (IDF). The presentation was part of the Second International Ground Warfare and Logistics Conference, held on 16th and 17th of May 2017 in the Latrun Armed Corps Memorial. Based on the fact that Didi Ben-Yoash is retied and describes this as a simulation of the Carmel, it appears extremely likely that the final vehicle might appear to be very different.


Austrian Pandur projects progression

Pandur-EvoThe Austrian company GDELS Steyr, part of the General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) division and formerly known as Steyr-Daimler-Puch Spezialfahrzeug GmbH (SSF), is responsible for developing a new vehicle of the Pandur family of wheeled vehicles (FoV). A few photos of an unspecified Pandur 6×6 variant, which apparently is a long wheelbase version of the Pandur II, were taken at a recent event in April. The fact that the vehicle was presented in a modern digital camouflage pattern has caused some funny commencts regarding the lack of style; however here these photos were the inspiration to take a very short look at the Pandur 1 projects in Austria and other countries. The fact that a Pandur II 6×6 is located at the Steyr plant might be a hint regarding the development of the Pandur EVO – it could be used as reference or as base model for the next iteration of the Pandur vehicle. The Pandur 1 is operated in different versions by the Austrian Army (the so called Bundesheer), the Belgian Army (as scout and ambulance vehicles), the Kuwaiti National Guard (some armed with 25 mm autocannons or 90 mm Cockerill medium calibre guns), the Slovenian Army (known as locally as “Valuk”) and the US Army’s Special Forces (fitted with applique armor, operated by the Delta Force and 75th Rangers in very small numbers).

T-34/85 Tanks in Yemen

This short video showed up recently on youtube.  According to the video description, this is a compilation of all the available footage of T-34/85 tanks in use in the fighting in Yemen.  It is a fairly short video and the resolution is not fantastic, but it’s still pretty amazing that these 60+ year old tanks are still being used in combat.